Sunday, November 30, 2008
McKell (holding a random Santa figure): Hi baby Jesus, it's me, Santa.
Ashlee (holding baby Jesus): Hello
McKell: Baby Jesus, what do you want for Christmas this year?
Ashlee: I dont' know
McKell (now being herself and VERY exasperated): (sigh) Ashlee, long ago when Jesus was a baby, Santa asked him what he wanted for his Christmas present and of course he told Santa that he wanted scriptures. So on Christmas night, after Jesus went to sleep, Santa brought baby Jesus a set of scriptures and when he woke up on Christmas morning, he was SO excited."
So, there you have it folks. The Christmas story according to McKell. I guess it's better than Baby Jesus asking for Star Wars toys or a new bike....
Thursday, November 27, 2008
1. My Parents - Where would I be without these two amazing people? Well, of course I wouldn't be here at all. My parents are rocks and are a true example to me. I am so grateful that they raised 9 children and that they do all that they can to keep us close and connected. I am grateful for the countless lessons they have taught me in my life. I am thankful for my dad's continual fount of wisdom and experience, to know that he is ALWAYS there when I need him, that he can give me a "Hey Sis" and everything seems more manageable, and that he is truly one of my best friends. I am grateful that I am close to my mom and that we have a great relationships. That we go thrift store shopping together, talk almost every day, and that she is always a listening ear and understands what I am going through as a mother. I don't know why I was blessed to be their daughter, but I am so grateful that I am.
2. Family - I already wrote about my own family, but I want to express gratitude for my family that I grew up in and their families. I am the 8th of 9 children - the baby girl. With any large family, we have a true mix of personalities, joys, struggles, and love. I am so grateful that for the most part, our family gets along and loves each other. We have fun together and know that in the end, we have each others' backs. I am also grateful for Rob's family and what I have learned from them. I am grateful that they helped mold and raise such a wonderful man.
3. Friends - I am grateful for friends in my life. I have been blessed to live in many places and the friends that I have made in all of those places are great treasures in my life. True friends are those that you can be away from for years, but as soon as you see them, you pick right back up where you left off. My best girlfriend is Juliann. We have been through it all in our 10 year friendship. Thank goodness our husbands are brothers and they love each other. I talk to Juliann pretty much every day and it seems strange when we don't talk. We understand each other better than any other girlfriend I have ever had. I really do see it as a true blessing to have such a wonderful friend that I can laugh with, cry with, commiserate with, and just talk to. I am confidant that God laid things out for us to be sisters and best friends.
4. The Gospel - I am truly grateful for my testimony of the Gospel and the joy that it brings me. I am so grateful to have these values and beliefs that I can hold to during the hardest times in my life. I am grateful to be able to have a clear path to raise my children on. I am eternally grateful for the atonement of Jesus Christ and that no matter what, He knows exactly how I am feeling in any situation and that He has made it possible for me to be with my Heavenly Father again with my family. I love serving in the church and am grateful to be the primary president of our ward. What a blessing to work with these amazing strong spirits!
5. My country - I don't think we can fully appreciate what we have because most of us know no different. I am so grateful to live in a country where I am free to worship as I choose, raise my children how I choose, live where I choose, etc. And how grateful I am for those willing to serve our country and protect us and also for their families.
6. "The necessities of life"... - I remember growing up that my dad would often say this when he was praying. That we were grateful for "our food, clothing, and necessities of life". I now understand what he meant. As a parent, it is so crucial and important to provide for our children and take care of them. I often remind our children how blessed we are to have a warm home, clothes, food, a car to drive, a school to go to, toys, etc....those "necessities of life" that I take for granted way too often. I truly am grateful for the small and simple things in my life.
There of course could be so many other things that I could write, but for now, I will close this up and make a goal to be grateful for the many blessings of my life as another Thanksgiving comes to an end.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Also yesterday, I was going through some documents on my computer and came across one that was really cool to read. It was written back in 2002 and I just took the time that day to write down the things that I was grateful for. Cayden was only 3 and the twins were only about 6 months. Here is what it said:
I have a WONDERFUL husband who is a unbelievable dad to our kids. He is Cayden's best buddy and is so sweet to our girls. They flirt with him and have him wrapped around all 20 of their fingers! He treats me like a queen and is always supporting me in my "me time" when I need it. He works so hard to provide for our family so that I can stay home with our kids. He has endless patience for me and my rantings!
Cayden is my sweet litle guy! I can't believe he will be 3 in a few weeks. He is growing up too fast! He is full of love and sweetness and loves to snuggle and give "big hugs". He's like my little teddy bear. I love to hear him sing his songs even though he doesn't know all the words. I love that he loves me even when I am not the best mom. I love that when I am having a hard day, he comes to me and asks, "What's wrong? Are you okay?" I love that he gets so excited lately when his pants have pockets to put his hands in. He is the sweetest and most wonderful little boy in the world.
My sweet Ashlee is getting more roly and poly every day. I love her adorable dimples in her cheeks. I love listening to her coo in her little deep voice. I love that she gives everyone a big smile when she sees them. I love being the one to get her out of bed because she is so happy to see me. I love that she is a snuggler and that she loves to hold my finger while I feed her. She is an angel.
And finally, my sweet little McKell. She is full of spunk and curiosity. My late Grandma always called her "the nosy one" and she was right. McKell has a natural born wonder for the world. My dad tells everyone, "She doesn't look at you, she looks through you!" It is so true. She studies everything with such great intent. She is a mommy's girl and loves to grab my face. I love her beautiful blue eyes and long eyelashes. I love feeding her and snuggling with her (when she isn't too busy looking around at the world). I love hearing her discover the noises she can make with her voice as she squawks and growls. She is also an angel.
I am blessed with so many things and am so proud and honored to be a mommy to these wonderful little gifts fom God.
So, in following that tradition, I thought that I would take a few moments this coming week before Thanksgiving to share the things that I am grateful for.
1. Rob - I am so very very blessed to be married to such a wonderful sweet man. He is a great husband and an incredible father. He takes the time to learn and listen to the kids. Rob has always had an amazing love of learning. He truly takes joy in learning all about new things and isn't happy until he is pretty much a pro at it. I love that he has passed this love of learning onto our kids. I can't tell you how often we have science experiments going on in the kitchen, stacks of paper where he has written down ways to illustrate something he is teaching, etc. and his enthusiasm for learning is contagious to the kids. They are always doing some kind of project or experiment. He is patient and tries so hard to be a good dad. He is also very humble when he realizes he has done something wrong. Our home wouldn't be the same without Rob's huge spirit. We love his singing, movie voices, and positive attitude.
2. Cayden - What a sweet and special boy Cayden is. I can't believe how quickly he is turning into a young man. He is so sensitive to others' feelings and truly wants everyone to be happy. I love to laugh and giggle with Cayden. He will always hold a special place in my heart because he was my first. I am so grateful for the special relationship that he and I have. Like his dad, Cayden LOVES to learn and has a contagious curiosity about things. I am grateful that he is such a good big brother amidst all of these girls! He is surely a valiant spirit that was saved for this day.
3. Ashlee - I recently came to a life altering perspective change with Ashlee. So many people have told us that Ashlee was sent to us because we were the parents that could best help her and take care of her special needs. But I think it is exactly the opposite. Ashlee wasn't sent to us so we could help her, Ashlee was sent to us so she could help us. The life lessons I have learned just by being Ashlee's mother are too many to write. I am so grateful for her humor, love, joy, and amazing outlook on things. When Ashlee was first diagnosed with autism, I was devastated to say the least. But I have been forced to learn that appearances don't matter and that we should spend less time worrying about what other people think and focus more on what we think about ourselves and what God thinks of us. I love that Ashlee makes us all laugh. I love that she is strong willed and stands her ground. I am grateful for the amazing progress that she has made in the short time we have been working with her autism. I am proud of her that she is doing SO incredibly well in school and everyone loves being her friend.
4. McKell - This sweet little angel is so special to me. McKell is so nurturing and loving. Her heart truly feels for others. If one of the other kids gets in trouble, it is ususally McKell who is the most upset. I love my special times with McKell and I love that she cherishes those moments as well. McKell is a lot like me and likes to be creative and do crafts etc. I look forward to many times when we can work together and share those moments. I am grateful for McKell's enthusiasm for life and love of music, art, and learning. I am so proud of her hard work in school. And although it is often times frustrating to me, I do appreciate that she has a firey personality and knows what she wants and stands up for it. I love that she still knows that she got her beautiful blue eyes from Grandpa and that Grandma Olive watches over her. She is a little angel and a special and sweet girl.
5. Sadie - Oh sweet Sadie! Sadie's "theme" song is "You are my Sunshine" because that is what Sadie is - a ray of sunshine in our home. I have never seen one baby bring so much harmony, love, happiness, and joy to a family. She has been such a blessing to us. I am grateful to have my special time with just her each day after the kids go to school. I love that she still pulls on my hair when I feed her her bottle. I love that she is constantly wiggling her feet and toes, especially when she is excited. I love that she has a fascination with socks and gets giddy when I put socks on her feet. I love her big smile and sweet little spirit. I love that singing "Old McDonald" can calm her down in any situation. I love my little Sadie and am so thankful for her in our family.
To be continued.....
Thursday, November 13, 2008
9 TV shows I watch:
Dancing with the Stars
America's Next Top Model
9 Things I did Yesterday:
Went to the doctor
Finished McKell's hat
Helped kids with homework
Helped kids with piano
Played with Sadie
Talked with Rob
Stayed up way too late!
9 Things I am looking forward to:
Christmas with all of its parties, traditions, etc. and decorating my house for Christmas
Going out to Olive Garden with Juliann
Sister's Retreat (even though we just had it)
Doing my bedroom
being completely out of debt
various house projects
9 Things I am scared of:
something happening to my kids or Rob
my parents dying
my back being permanantly screwed up
Rob losing his job
being a good mom and wife
those I love being hurt
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
1. Cayden loves everyone. He really doesn't know how to be mean spirited. This is sometimes hard because this makes him very vulnerable, but because he is such a likable kid, he usually wins everyone over. He has a gift to love and accept everyone. He is especially kind to those younger than him. He always tries to include others. In Cayden's opinion, it is always "The more the merrier!"
2. Cayden LOVES to learn. He gets this from his dad. He has a natural curiosity and loves to find out how things work, where things come from, etc. and he retains things just like his dad. I often joke that I knew my kids would outsmart me at some point, I just didn't think it would be in kindergarten! Cayden is an excellent student and I have yet to meet any of his teachers who don't absolutely adore him! He is always doing experiments, making projects. etc.
3. Cayden is great at trying new things and doesn't give up. Even when things don't come particularly easy to him, he finds a way to push through and make it fun. For instance, he has played soccer for quite a few years and at first we were worried because he wasn't as fast or skilled as some of the other kids because of his size. But Cayden never gave up and is now one of the best soccer players around. He still isn't the fastest, but he is a force to be reckoned with and scored quite a few goals already this season. He also started piano this past year and is cruising through all of the books and never gives up on learning.
4. Cayden is an amazing big brother. Cayden was only 20 months old when we found out we were having twins. It was so interesting because the overall response from anyone who knew us was that it would be a no-brainer with Cayden and that he was definitely meant to be a big brother to twin sisters. Even though they don't always get along, he is a wonderful big brother to Ashlee and McKell and it has been a joy to see him be such a great brother to Sadie. He adores her and she loves him so much.
5. Cayden always tries to choose the right and has an amazing testimony of the Gospel. He is such a great example and feels so badly whenever he has made a bad choice.
6. Cayden is the definition of "happy go lucky". He has such a joy for life and for experiences. It really is contagious to be around him, especially when he gets giggling.
7. Cayden hates any form of contention, especially in his family. He has always kept us in line when it comes to arguing, yelling, etc.
8. Cayden loves Star Wars, XBox, playing with friends, Swedish Meatballs, the colors red and blue, Fish Lake, camping, Pokemon, movie night, going to Grandpa and Grandma's, soccer, basketball, Texas Roadhouse, trains, Disneyland, and being with his family.
9. Cayden is a true gift to our family. We feel so honored and humbled to be parents to this great and wonderful kid. He is such a special boy and we love him and are so proud of him.
Happy Birthday Cayden!!
Our little Fisherman
Monday, November 10, 2008
Our sweet little Sadie cat
(originally she was a bee, but hated the costume, so we opted for the cat)
Friday, November 7, 2008
I just read a comment on another blog concerning Proposition 8. The obviously angry person (whom I don't even know) posted the question, "What right do the darn Mormons have to tell anyone they can't get married!? I'm glad people are protesting outside the temples. I'm embarrassed I used to be a Mormon. They are such hypocrites!"
So, I figure that question was posed, so I will take the opportunity to answer it.
What "right" do those darn Mormons have? Uh...they have EVERY right. They, just like you, are American citizens. They have the right to vote. They have the freedom to speak what they feel. They have every right to say their thoughts and views on a law in their state. And really, are you seriously going to play the "Mormons are hypocrites" card? Because here is what I find hypocritical. I think it is INCREDIBLY hypocritcal to be condemning one group of people for exercising their American right to vote, while cheering for another group who is exercising their freedom of speech as they protest outside of Mormon temples. So, which is it? Either we ALL have the same rights as Americans, or we don't.
Some argue that the Mormon church should have stayed out of this and let their members decide for themselves. Why? Isn't that another right we have as Americans? To worship as we wish? And as part of that freedom of religion, the Mormon leaders have every right to weigh in and share with their followers direction and guidance as they see fit. And then it is the right of those members to exercise their freedom and vote as they wish. Just like any Catholic American, Muslim American, etc.
It really doesn't matter which side you stand on in this issue. For me? I stand on the side of America and I stand on the side of our Founding Fathers who made it possible for American citizens to be on different sides of an issue, but BOTH have the same rights to express and vote their conscience.
For the record, I do tend to side with the elderly temple workers who are being verbally abused and berated as they leave and enter LDS temples. My own parents are temple workers in their seventies and it doesn't sit too well with me at the thought of anyone attacking them. My father serviced in the Air Force to protect our country and is a retired Air Force Major and I know many of the LDS temple workers are also military vetrans who ironically fought with their lives to protect the very "rights" they supposedly shouldn't have because they are Mormons."
So please, in the future, before posting ignorant comments about the "rights" of those darn Mormons, please kindly go read the constitution. I'm sure our Founding Fathers could set things straight.